xuv CAREER OF MOHAMED AT MECC/iU n Recite in the name of the Lord who created, Created Man from nought but congealed blood ; Recite ! for thy Lord is beneficent. It is He who hath taught (to write) with the pen; Hath taught man that which he knoweth not."1 . . . The Assumption of the Prophetical Office, A.D. 613-614. In A.D. 613-614, the forty-fourth year of his life, we find Mohamed proclaiming himself a divinely inspired Prophet, sent by God to the people of Arabia. His followers, though very few, were both honest and devoted. Among them were Khadija, his wife, Zayd, his adopted \ son, and Ali, son of AbuTalib, his cousin. Of far greater! weight was the adherence of Abu Bekr, a member of the Kureish, a man of substance, and of the highest personal character. Other converts included Sad, Othman, and Abdur Rahman, who himself brought four more con- verts. Thus slowly during the three or four years which followed the assumption of the prophetic office somejorty followers, all of them loyal to the core, threw in their lot with Mohamed. The behaviour of his fellow-citizens was such as might have been expected. At first, having known Mohamed from boyhood, they treated his claims with contempt, and regarded him as a harmless visionary ; but gradually, owing to their connexion with the Kaaba, these feelings changed into open hostility, which showed itself in perse- cution. This drew all the more attention to the doctrines expounded by the Prophet, who was himself protected by Abu Talib. Others, however, who had no protectors were imprisoned or exposed to the glare of the sun or ill-treated in other ways. The Temporary Emigration to Abyssinia^ A.D. 615. So hot did the persecution become and so black the out- look that Mohamed recommended his followers to seek a temporary asylum in Christian Abyssinia, and in A.D. 615 a party of eleven men fled to the port of Shuayba, near Jeddah, and thence reached Africa in safety. The historical interview with the Negus is recorded 1 This, the ninety-sixth sura or chapter, was the starting-point of Islam, and Mohamed himself used to refer to it as his first inspired utterance.